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Opinion's Wanted Please
#1
Hi, 

I wanted some advise from the other side. I will soon be a mum, me and my ex partner was originally living together when we found out I was pregnant but have since separated. I am trying my best to be as reasonable as possible but him and his family disagree on what is reasonable so I would really appreciate having your opinions.

My only concern right now is the safety and best interests of our child. 

When we found out I was pregnant my ex told me he would get a job (he wasn't working at all before) and we would find a house together and he would look after us both and support us. I have always been working full time and I still am. 
It took him over a month to actually start looking for a job and when he did find out he hated it so much he was constantly calling in sick and losing pay. After three month's they stopped offering him any shifts and he hasn't worked again for the past 2 and half months. In the three months he worked he managed to save about £600 but ended up spending most of this on things he wanted like domino's several times a week and buying himself a new computer. I am due in 7 weeks and all I have from him is £140. (He also owes me over £1000 that I lent him before I got pregnant.)

He lives in a small 2 bed flat with his mentally ill mother and dog. When I say she is mentally ill, I'm not exaggerating she has been diagnosed with several severe mental illnesses including schizophrenia. When her daughter had her first son she actually heard voices telling her to kill him and would imagine suffocating him in her sleep. She is on medication but she often has relapses. The dog he has isn't toilet trained at all. Almost daily she urinates and poo's on the floor and is allowed on all the furniture and bedding. 

His mum promised me when I found out I was pregnant that she would buy my pram. I showed her the one I wanted and she said she would get the money together and I should have it end of the month (September), September came and she said she would have to give me the money October... this has gone on to the point that it's now January and she is saying end of Feb. The baby is due mid March. My ex's Dad who she is separated from also had £200 in cash for me to help towards the cost of the pram. She took it upon herself to get the money and instead of giving it to me spent it herself and is saying she will give me it when she gives me hers.

My ex contact me to say he 'may' have a job that starts next week, how much money would I want from him. I explained that I have bought almost all the baby things I need for the first 3 months and I have spent over £1500 and would appreciate £1000. Since he broke up with me I am having to know find my own place and fully carpet and decorate it from scratch as I've never lived alone before and have nothing. I said I thought £50 a week would be a fair amount to pay in child support. 

I asked him what contact he would like with the baby when she is he. He said he wanted to see her as much as possible and have overnight visits from the get go. I believe that the child should have the right to know both of their parents and build a relationship with both of them. I don't however think overnight visits from infancy is right. 
I said I was happy to arrange a schedule where every X day at X time he comes round for X hours to see the baby. This way he can build up that bond with her. We could then progress to longer visits and more visits a week and eventually he will be able to take her out on her own and finally overnight stays. 

I have done lots of research from a psychological point of view that studies attachment and separation anxiety in children and believe this is the easiest way on the child to bond and adapt to visitation. I've said that I would only allow him to take the child to his home if he isn't living with his mother anymore (I've said she can visit as well but I do not trust her to be around my baby alone) and he has sorted the issues with the dog. I think it's far too unhygienic to have a baby, toddler or child on carpets that a dog has wee'd and poo'd on so frequently. 

I think I am being very reasonable with this. His family and himself differ with me. He's told me he doesn't want to go to the courts or mediation but he thinks I'm being purposely stubborn and trying to make his life hard. They don't understand why it's not appropriate for him to have the baby. His mum said she'll be in her cot most of the time anyways so I don't see why the dog's a problem and you can't use the excuse about breastfeeding as you can express and we can bottle feed her. 

I really want to know what you guys think, am I being unreasonable or do you think I'm being fair?

Thank you!
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#2
(01-23-2018, 06:34 AM)advisewanted Wrote: Hi, 

I wanted some advise from the other side. I will soon be a mum, me and my ex partner was originally living together when we found out I was pregnant but have since separated. I am trying my best to be as reasonable as possible but him and his family disagree on what is reasonable so I would really appreciate having your opinions.

My only concern right now is the safety and best interests of our child. 

When we found out I was pregnant my ex told me he would get a job (he wasn't working at all before) and we would find a house together and he would look after us both and support us. I have always been working full time and I still am. 
It took him over a month to actually start looking for a job and when he did find out he hated it so much he was constantly calling in sick and losing pay. After three month's they stopped offering him any shifts and he hasn't worked again for the past 2 and half months. In the three months he worked he managed to save about £600 but ended up spending most of this on things he wanted like domino's several times a week and buying himself a new computer. I am due in 7 weeks and all I have from him is £140. (He also owes me over £1000 that I lent him before I got pregnant.)

He lives in a small 2 bed flat with his mentally ill mother and dog. When I say she is mentally ill, I'm not exaggerating she has been diagnosed with several severe mental illnesses including schizophrenia. When her daughter had her first son she actually heard voices telling her to kill him and would imagine suffocating him in her sleep. She is on medication but she often has relapses. The dog he has isn't toilet trained at all. Almost daily she urinates and poo's on the floor and is allowed on all the furniture and bedding. 

His mum promised me when I found out I was pregnant that she would buy my pram. I showed her the one I wanted and she said she would get the money together and I should have it end of the month (September), September came and she said she would have to give me the money October... this has gone on to the point that it's now January and she is saying end of Feb. The baby is due mid March. My ex's Dad who she is separated from also had £200 in cash for me to help towards the cost of the pram. She took it upon herself to get the money and instead of giving it to me spent it herself and is saying she will give me it when she gives me hers.

My ex contact me to say he 'may' have a job that starts next week, how much money would I want from him. I explained that I have bought almost all the baby things I need for the first 3 months and I have spent over £1500 and would appreciate £1000. Since he broke up with me I am having to know find my own place and fully carpet and decorate it from scratch as I've never lived alone before and have nothing. I said I thought £50 a week would be a fair amount to pay in child support. 

I asked him what contact he would like with the baby when she is he. He said he wanted to see her as much as possible and have overnight visits from the get go. I believe that the child should have the right to know both of their parents and build a relationship with both of them. I don't however think overnight visits from infancy is right. 
I said I was happy to arrange a schedule where every X day at X time he comes round for X hours to see the baby. This way he can build up that bond with her. We could then progress to longer visits and more visits a week and eventually he will be able to take her out on her own and finally overnight stays. 

I have done lots of research from a psychological point of view that studies attachment and separation anxiety in children and believe this is the easiest way on the child to bond and adapt to visitation. I've said that I would only allow him to take the child to his home if he isn't living with his mother anymore (I've said she can visit as well but I do not trust her to be around my baby alone) and he has sorted the issues with the dog. I think it's far too unhygienic to have a baby, toddler or child on carpets that a dog has wee'd and poo'd on so frequently. 

I think I am being very reasonable with this. His family and himself differ with me. He's told me he doesn't want to go to the courts or mediation but he thinks I'm being purposely stubborn and trying to make his life hard. They don't understand why it's not appropriate for him to have the baby. His mum said she'll be in her cot most of the time anyways so I don't see why the dog's a problem and you can't use the excuse about breastfeeding as you can express and we can bottle feed her. 

I really want to know what you guys think, am I being unreasonable or do you think I'm being fair?

Thank you!

As far as the law is concerned, you are not due any money from him until the Child is born (Except the loan, what you would have to take him to the small claims court over). Also note that while people might give you items, money what is not Child Support or Child Benefit is reportable if on means tested Benefits (JSA/ESA/Housing Benefit or Universal Credit) and is inform as  far as Tax Credits are concerned.

When baby is born its your decision on if you invite him to Register the Birth, and by doing so, he will get PR. If you refuse, he can apply to Court and he will get it as there is nothing in your post what would stop it. Note that money is not in any way related to PR or Contact.

Only the father has the right to see the child, due to their rights under The Children Act 2002.  Until the child is 2, due to goverment policy on promoting breast feeding, he will only get 4-6 hours of contact, over 1 or 2 days. Note that is him collecting the child at an agreed time, and taking the child away to his choice of place, without you present. If he can show a court that you have feeding provision in place when the child is with anyone else, then the above changes, as if you can for example express for a friend, the court would order it for his contact.

From 2 the starting point is every other weekend, and half the school holidays. This is half of what is considered to be the Quality Time.
Shared care will come down to a number of things, like distance and his avalialbity.

Since the Welfare Benefit reforms, you will have what the law says you need coming in, depending on your current family size. Check out http://www.entitledto.co.uk.
Note as a single parent, you get Working Tax Credit if you exceed 16 hours a week, what also moves up the applicable amount for other benefits. It futher goes up at 30 hours a week.

Once baby is born, your Housing Benefit Claim if you have one, will be based on entitlement to 2 bedrooms.

The law requires him to pay child support, and if you can not agree on it, then you can put CMS in, what will cost £20.

The way its worked out is

Income, if working, his Taxable Income from last year, unless it has gone up or down by 25%, where it will use current income.
Note if he is on JSA/ESA etc where he has an income of under £120 per week, he has to pay about £8 per week, unless he exceeds 52 nights a year "Staying Contact", where it is £0. This is due to the fact that you will get your normal benefit amount, at times he is supporting the child.

If him or any partner has a child either of them get Child Benefit for, it can reduce your child support amount.

Staying Contact will also reduce it, if he exceeds 52, then more at 104, 156 and 175 nights.

To be clear, his only liablity in law, is to provide things during his time. The Child Support payment is considered to be a fair contrubution to your normal day to day costs. While most non resident parents will make extra payments for things like school uniform, school trips etc, there is no requirement to.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#3
Hey... well done for reaching out... not sure i would ever be brave enough to post on "Mumsnet' :-)

You have got your head screwed on, you are clearly a sensible, reasonable woman and overall you see the situation as it is. I don't know him (or you) so unfair to make judgement but it does seem you will have your work cut out changing him from a young boy into a father... but fingers crossed

As for his mum, all mother in laws are mentally ill, diagnosed or not :-) ... the issue here is the safety... what he does with his kid in his time is up to him so you got to use all your diplomatic skills and talk to the family about it... work towards a solution... explain your concerns and leave it with him to solve... your child welfare is ALSO his responsibility so if playing in dog poo is something a mother sees as a risk there is no reason a father would not see this as a risk.... BUT be careful here... your welfare concerns might be seen as 'criticism' so maybe ask a mutual friend to help out , maybe someone who is a mother who can go and help 'child proof' both houses in a friendly way?

PS being stubborn and making each others life hard is a perception ... you both are doing this... you and him .. .but not because you intend to... its part of a separation ... you see things from different perspectives. One day you will both need to compromise and put the kid first... you have a good start in your solid understanding of the situation, however it is also his kid so think solution based... from his point of view, he needs to man up and get that house clean and a lock on the kitchen door for the dog!

Good luck
"Being a good father, for its own sake, does not require your ex to see it or agree"
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#4
Hi, i admire that you have come on here for some advice and to try and see things from the other side. Especially considering most peoples experiences on here are that the mother is just being completely unreasonable and unless you do as she says when she says then contact with your children is not happening.

As above though you seem to be reasonable and sensible. We dont know either of you but i wish my ex was anywhere near close to this. My ex would have just told everyone all the lies about abuse, anger issues and how violent i am to sway judgement in her direction. If i had done these things or was like this i would completely understand her stance but at the end of the day it is not the children's fault and they deserve the chance to have both parents and families in their lives. It will be better for them and it will help them know who they are and who is who in their lives. So the more he can bond with the child now the better it will be for them which you clearly understand anyway.

It seems to me that he needs a little dose of reality and needs to grow up a bit. To be honest i wouldnt expect to be having my daughter over night straight from the get go. I dont think that is reasonable at all. My daughter is just 1, but even if i had a normal relationship with her i would say 18 months to 2 years old would be the point where overnights should be ok. But small babies need routine, contact should be little and frequent in order to make that bond and develop a relationship. What you are suggesting is reasonable in my eyes.

If what you say about your ex's house etc is true then it is understandable that you have concerns. If i was him i wouldnt want to have my daughter there tbh so he needs to sort that side out. Problem is in my job i go into many houses that i have to wipe my feet on the way out, they really dont see a problem in the way they are. You are right to make your concerns known and yes you are thinking about your child but he has responsibility too and needs to take it upon himself to be reasonable and try to consider things differently. Its no good telling him what he can and cant do, he is the parent too and he has a say. It is hard but you both need to work together for your child.

Dont make the mistake of thinking that you are the mother and you are the one that decides what happens and when it happens, what he can and cant do or when and where he can go. You need to give him the chance to step up to his responsibilities. You dont want to be coming across as you are criticising him or implying he is not good enough or an equal parent. I assume you are going to put him on the birth certificate so he has PR?

As for the money side of things. I paid for all of my daughters things, cot, pushchair, car chair, nappies, milk etc etc ready for when she was born but i had no issues with that at all. I was simply providing the best i could for my daughter. But you say you spent £1500 on bay stuff but would appreciate he pays £1000? Why do you want more than half? Why not £750? But that is upto him, he has no legal obligation to pay before she is born. You also say £50 a week is reasonable? Have you checked on the CMS calculator what it says? IMO a baby does not need £50 a week. My ex wanted £65 a week, i ignored her until she come back a few months later saying £45. This was before she was born though. I have a decent job so i was happy to pay that despite as i say the baby does not need that much. Im am obliged by law to pay it though and also by my own morals to provide for my daughter.

If he has no job then you are unlikely to get much, about £7 a week from his benefits. But the amount he pays you will be based on his wages, not how much you think is fair. You can use the CMS calculator once you know what he earns to come to an arrangement with each other. If you go through CMS to make him pay they will charge him more and i think charge you as well for the payments to be made.

Anyway any normal person/parent would do their best for their children and acknowledge that things are going to need to change in their life in a very big way. The things you are concerned should just be second nature as a parent to watch out for your child. You do your best to keep your child safe and our of harms way by restricting risk. He should know all this but everyone is different.

Hope this helps, maybe not. But good luck, hope everything works out the best it can for you all.
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